Greely moved into the top spot in Western Class B this week after victories against Yarmouth and Wells. But like the Telegram League, the team in the lead could change a couple of more times before the regular season ends.

The Rangers (10-1) rebuilt after graduating six starters. Their starting lineup consists of a freshman, a sophomore, five juniors and two seniors.

“I’m thrilled we’re 10-1 as young as we are,” said Coach Derek Soule. “We know despite our good start that there are very good teams in our league more than capable of beating us if we don’t play well. Ideally we would like to finish 1 or 2 so that we can host the first two rounds of the playoffs. Other than that it doesn’t mean a lot.”

Greely’s loss was May 2 to Cape Elizabeth, 8-4 in nine innings.

The Rangers are home against Poland today. Despite the inclement weather this week, Greely has played twice, both on its field. The Monday game against Yarmouth was scheduled for the road but moved to Greely because of better field conditions.

“We have really good drainage on the field. The crew does a great job getting it ready,” said Soule.

On Wednesday, the Rangers shut out Wells, 10-0.

Three top teams in Greely, Cape Elizabeth and Yarmouth, with other capable teams like Falmouth, Wells and York could make for an open tournament.

“It looks to be more wide open than in the past,” said Soule. “I don’t think there’s a clear-cut favorite.”

Soule said Yarmouth and Cape Elizabeth were without question the two best teams heading into last year’s tournament. Both were 17-1 before the regional final, won by the Capers.

Greely’s only returning starters were catcher Pete Stauber, shortstop Matt Labbe and pitcher/outfielder Ben Shain. Stauber, a junior, is batting .524 with 17 RBI. He bats leadoff because Soule said it’s nice to have someone who can reach base consistently.

“Pete is our catalyst,” said Soule.

Stauber also is outstanding defensively, throwing out eight runners.

Greely’s top three pitchers are underclassmen. Mike Leeman, a junior, is 4-0. Jonah Normandeau, a sophomore, is 3-1 and freshman Bailey Train is 3-0.

Greely’s last two games likely will determine the No. 1 seed. Greely plays at Yarmouth on May 27, then meets Cape Elizabeth at the Ballpark in Old Orchard Beach at 7 p.m. May 31. It’s the second straight year the teams have played there.

“It’s nice to play a big game under the lights,” said Soule. “It’s a nice stadium with a beautiful playing surface. It’s a fun atmosphere.”

THURSDAY NIGHT at Hadlock Field would have seen umpires don their light blue shirts and wear sky blue wristbands (Blues Go Blue) for prostate cancer awareness. But because the game was one of many this week victimized by rain, the so-called “Spotlight Game” will now be Noble at Portland at 11 a.m. Saturday at Hadlock Field. Sky blue is the color designated for prostate cancer. Players from both teams also will wear the wristbands.

The Western Maine Board of Approved Umpires designated this week as fundraising for the disease. Umpires were asked to donate at least a portion of game fees for prostate cancer awareness. Spectators are also able to donate. Unfortunately because of the weather, many games have been postponed.

“Last June at our business meeting, it was brought up by our members that it would be a good idea if we started a charitable initiative,” said the committee chairman, Jeff Scully of Saco.

“We came up with the idea of a donated game fee. This week was designated for prostate cancer but the weather hasn’t cooperated.”

Had Cheverus and Portland played the “Spotlight Game,” it would have been emotional for Nic Lops of Cheverus. Lops, a senior catcher, lost his father, Patrick, to prostate cancer 10 years ago. Patrick Lops was 50.

“My dad passed away when I was 7 years old,” said Lops. “I feel it every day. It was a tough thing to grasp when you’re 7 years old and your father dies. Prostate cancer affects a lot of people and families. Many people have died from this disease. Hopefully the funds raised from the game (now Saturday) will help fund a cure for the disease.”

Lops will continue his baseball career and education at St. Joseph’s College, where he plans to major in secondary education.

A LOOK AT SOME statistics through the start of the week finds Jamie Ross of Deering leading the Telegram League with a .593 batting average. Joey Royer of Cheverus is second at .571. Completing the top five are Matt Wheeler (.542) of Bonny Eagle, Sam Balzano (.538) of Deering, and Louie DiStasio (.500) of Cheverus and Zach Gardiner (.500) of Westbrook.

Balzano leads the league in stolen bases with 11. He’s 11 of 11. Balzano is tied for runs with DiStasio at 14 each.

Staff Writer Tom Chard can be reached at 791-6419 or at:

[email protected]

Twitter: TomChardPPH